I Still Remember…

The other week you asked me what do I still remember about you. How you were and looked like etc.? I told you,

“Well, at the very beginning when you came I thought you were really cute but I pegged you as kind of the quiet guy. You were definitely not the quiet guy haha. Then I thought you were a cocky bastard and I wanted to slap you in the face. You were still cute. And then that night at Leah’s when you got drunk I was thinking fuck he’s so adorable right now. And then when you started saying all those things about how cute I was and how sweet I was I was like whoa but at the same time like giddy I guess you could say. And so, so happy. And that whole weekend was probably one of the best weekends I’ve had. And as we hung out more and got to know each other I was like if we last until the end of senior year I’ll be so fucking happy. You’re so sweet and kind and caring. You’re good with kids especially with your siblings and that’s something I really like in a guy. You always made me laugh and you were always looking out for me. You took so much shit from people but it never changed you into a horrible person. You’re not afraid to be blunt and say what’s on your mind and if people can’t handle that then that’s their problem. Yeah sometimes you could be immature but you were still the best boyfriend I’ve ever had. I mean you’re still quite young but even you knew how to treat a girl better than the guys in my year. Oh yeah and you’re hot and so adorable. I have this thing for guys in jeans I don’t know what it is. But when you were shirtless in jeans, like fuck if I had Leah’s personality I would have been like ‘fuck me right now!’ I miss you a lot. Like all those cuddling sessions and cooking meals and hugs and kisses and you helping me on the penny board. Oh my fuck and you buying things for me. Like you bought me things because you remembered me mentioning them. Like I didn’t even remember that and you went and bought me a penny board I was like shit! I didn’t remember saying that but you did. You remember the small things and I’m like whoa! Like you say I did so much for you and I put in a lot of effort but honestly I think you did more just because you remember the small things that I say.”

I gave you a short answer but here’s my real answer. It’s long, like super hella long but it’s worth the read I promise and you know how I tend to write essays. After all I’m writing for the course of more than 3 months and a lot happened in that time. I won’t put down everything because some things are private and personal but I know you remember what happened that night. You might not think I remember everything but I remember more than you know even if it’s not right down to the exact detail although I still remember quite a lot. Plus I’m a scatterbrain so bear with me.

January

I remember the very first day I saw you and thinking if only he were in my year. I remember telling you to tie your shoes or you’ll trip and cheering you on during the games. I remember introducing you to my friends and offering you chocolate as we sat on the sidewalk to watch the Sinulog parade. I remember hanging out with Nathan and Bianca and my friends teasing me that you would be my next boyfriend. I remember sitting at the tables and glancing up at you to see you surrounded by other people, mostly girls and wishing that I was one of them up there with you. I remember going up there but not having the courage to say anything and then just watched you leave with your parents. I remember not having much contact with you for the couple of weeks after that. I saw you around with James and Michael and stuff. I remember when Nathan called to ask me how to get to Leah’s house because the three of you were hanging out and wishing I could be there. Then the next day when we were all together and we were in her kitchen making cookies. They teased us because you were the only one helping me make the cookies and I believed you teased me as well. You in all your sleeveless glory. I think there was another day when we hung out as well and we were trying to figure out where you lived and 3G doesn’t flipping work in Silver Hills and we ended up driving up the hill instead of going down and going in like the complete opposite side. Then we go out and it was drizzling and we were just like “Now where would a gangly white kid be reading sitting on his roof?” We finally found you and met Ginger and your mom and siblings. Awww. When we got back to Leah’s we chilled out and I took Polaroids of you playing with Evie. There was also another night and you got me to watch The Interview and Leah teased me for being next to you. There was that night when you first started talking to me. You were shaving and I was making lunch and we were just taking photos and chatting about this and that. You and I planned to meet on the weekend and Saturday couldn’t come faster.

I remember that night at Leah’s. We were sitting outside and you sat beside me and you asked if I was alright because I looked like I was on the edge of the couch and I said yes. I remember playing spin the bottle with your phone and all those stupid things we did or said; making out in the bathrooms, changing clothes, skinny dipping. When James pulled your shorts down and I think you yelled, “It’s not that small I swear!” I didn’t really hear but Leah, James and Nathan sure did tease you about it after haha. I remember you got drunk and somehow managed to break just the bottom part of the wine glass. How? It’s not like you slammed it down. Leah and I fed you bread and gave you water and you were drunk and red and you looked adorable. Then you started going on about how I was so pretty and how I’ve been so kind and nice to you for the past couple of weeks. I was like “Child are you okay? Have some more water. Eat your damn bread!” By this point I was in your lap trying to get you to eat. I had on your grey shirt that I’d somehow gained and I don’t remember how. It was either the spin the bottle game, because I wanted it or I think you gave it to me because we’d just gone swimming. Hell if I knew. You kept telling me how pretty I was and then you said you were going to give me a hug and you did. I wasn’t sure how to feel at this point, I mean I had butterflies but what if this was just drunk you kicking in? Someone took a Polaroid of us and to this day it’s still one of my most favourite photos.

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Then a bunch more were taken of us. A whole bunch of other things happened that night too. 7-Eleven, more spin the bottle, making pancit. I remember we were chilling in Leah’s room and you and I were just lying on her bed snuggling. Nathan and I put lipstick on you and made you look like the Joker. Bunch of other stuff happened and you and I went and slept in the guestroom. You told me you liked to sleep shirtless and I was like do as you please. I asked if I could sleep in your shirt and you let me. As we went to sleep with your arm around my waist spooning me I was so scared to wake up the next morning because I honest to God thought you were just being drunk. And when you weren’t I was so happy. God my hair was a mess that morning having not washed it after swimming. Ewww. I remember waking up and feeling so scared but you reassured me that it wasn’t just a drunken thought. We hung out at Ayala that day with James and Nathan and you got me to stay with James while you and Nathan went to try and find the shop for my birthday gift. You didn’t find it. We talked about how we would go about our relationship and at first you said you didn’t want to do anything because you had other stuff to worry about but later on that day you said I was more important and I never felt so happy. Skip to the evening. Leah’s dad invited all to dinner at The Emerald Isle. He asked Leah and I which one of us we were dating and Leah said I was dating you. I was definitely jealous when you went inside to talk to the girls in Nathan’s year. We went back to Leah’s house and played spin the bottle again. We slept in the guestroom again. Sunday came and I was stressing out about mock exams. You hung out with us in the afternoon before having to leave again. That was one of the best weekends I’d had.

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I missed you so much during that week when you were in San Rem and I was back at CIS stressing about mocks. You made me a bacon sandwich and it was beautiful! You also cut your nose while on the trampoline. We texted so much during that week that you used up like 600 pesos worth of load including the card I’d bought you in like the first 2 days so we had to resort to messaging. When Friday came my exams could not go by fast enough and then I got to see you again and I was so happy when the bus pulled in. We slept over at Leah’s again. We went down to Emerald Isle to eat and met your family and Rosie was adorable and Danny was shy. I walked back up the hill with you so that you could go and get me your grey shirt I believe. More spin the bottle and everyone taking the piss out of you and more cuddling in the guestroom.

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February

We went to Ayala one day for stuff that we both needed and that was like the last weekend that we could have had the chance to sleep together in the same bed because people couldn’t keep their noses out of people’s businesses. Leah came to live with me then. Skip to Valentines’ Day when we went to Bluewater Maribago, fancy ass place with the squad, Leah, James and Nathan. I gave you all Valentines’ letters and I gave you a letter full of pickup lines and types of kisses. ‘You clot my cream.’ I swear, I had no idea what that meant. You still tease me about it though. When we got there we tried to swim to the other side of the ocean that they had roped off for guests to swim in and I didn’t like the seaweed so you carried me.

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Later that night you told me to get ready but not too fancy because you were taking me out. I didn’t feel like I’d overdressed but whatever floats your boat. You tried to surprise me by taking me to Nonki’s because you remembered how I loved sushi but you weren’t such a huge fan but you would try it for me and oh my god I just kept finding more and more reasons to keep you. Just more and more reasons as to why you were the greatest boyfriend ever. So instead we went to SM and the traffic was hell and we didn’t even go to Nonki in the end, we ended up going to a Thai restaurant but hey, spontaneity. As we were walking around SM we came upon some roses being sold. You left me alone for a moment and when you came back you had a rose that was genetically modified to be rainbow coloured. You told me, “I may not be able to give you a dozen roses with single colours but I can give you a single rose with a dozen colours.” You were just adding to the list weren’t you love?

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That night when we were eating dinner you also pulled out two necklaces. I know most people wouldn’t appreciate being given a gift that had initially been for someone else but I didn’t care. That was still one of the best nights and Valentines’ I had. I still have the necklaces and while I don’t always wear them when I see them they remind me of you. Also that night we couldn’t get a taxi on the way home so we ended up walking from SM to IT Park stopping occasionally to try and get a taxi and that took flipping forever.

For my birthday you and a couple of the girls surprised me with pizza and cake. We went boating for my birthday. I remember going to your house and Rosie ran out and hugged me and gave me a card that said happy birthday and your mom gave me a hug. And you and the squad had gotten me a pillow that said “I like you more than pizza…and I really like pizza,” and you bought me this really weird, very orange teddy bear from Tickles because you were unable to get me a giant ass human-sized bear but it was still okay. And I was so happy and the boating trip was fun.

I also helped babysit your siblings for the night and that was fun. The Box Trolls was such a cute movie. I also remember that night we slept over at your house and James got high and wanted an omelette but I forgot how to make one so I made like a fried egg instead or something. That was a fun sleepover. One weekend we also went to the falls for the day and that was nice. That walk back up the hill though killed me but there was a lizard, I think an iguana and that was cool. It was the same weekend I slept over I think. We got to ride in the back of the truck you own that like has glitter in the paint and has a tendency to break down way too often. There was also that long weekend we had where I basically just spent the whole time with you. There was also that night where we went to IT Park but when we couldn’t get a room at Hello Hans we chilled out on the grass and you were wearing your oversized jacket that was large even on you. Then again, you are pretty gangly.

Remember this beauty?

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March

For this month you helped me with all my stupid assignments that I had to complete for IB. AAAGGGHHH!!! But you were always there by my side. That one night when my dad was away and we were texting and you told me you were going to come over. I didn’t think you were being serious but you were. Oh my god when you showed up outside my gate I was like, where has this guy been all my life? You were amazing! You snuck out of your house on a school night just to come see me and make sure I was okay and if I needed help. If that wasn’t a reason enough to date you then what was? But for that month you snuck out to come see me and help me with my work and reassure me everything would be fine and helped keep me calm.

This month was also when you slept over along with James and he slept in Leah’s room. It was also the night when I accidently tapped that guy’s front bumper and he went into this whole rage about how he was going to have to get the whole front bumper replace even with a flashlight there was barely a scratch on the license plate. No one is going to notice, like excuse you I have an actual dent in our car. And he kept going on about how he was the owner of this company who made glass and it’s like if you have the money why the hell are you asking for a 5000 pesos deposit from a bunch of kids?! Asshole! And even though I was having a breakdown and you were comforting me he kept going on about his business and its like shut up! We get it, you’re rich! There was also that time we went to Nathan’s house and he had a meltdown and punched you in the stomach for being too loud even though it was both you and James making noises and James tried to defend you and he was encouraging you and telling you how I was a good person as I sat in your lap making sure you were okay. You were tipsy and we went for a walk to try and clear your mind and during that walk you were asking what were going on and I was reassuring you that everything was okay and we were just going for a walk.

April

I’m so, so, sorry! I ended up getting you grounded over the Easter break. I hadn’t seen or heard from you all day and I’d missed you and I wished that you could come see me and you did. You snuck out the night before you were leaving for the break to come hang out with me and you ended up getting your phone stolen and your parents found out and you go grounded and I’m sorry! But you still snuck on the tablet to talk to me. I was so surprised and you told me you would always find ways to keep me happy and talk to me and to be with me. You would go above and beyond to get to me. Why the hell are you on the other side of the world?

You were also in our play of Peter Pan and you played one of the pirates. You had to grow a beard and you’re one of those boys whose beard takes like 5 months to grow completely so you just had this awkward mess of facial hair that looked like waxing gone wrong. It was terrible and I know I make you feel bad about it and I’m sorry. I bought you a bouquet of flowers both night and your mom teased me saying something like wow, Finn’s lucky to get two bouquets. I felt embarrassed haha. I was actually invited to come with you to Emerald Isle where we had food. I feel very awkward around your parents, I’m sorry. We went back to your house and chilled out in your room. I didn’t get back home until 2am and my dad had to come downstairs to unlock the door for me and in the morning he asked me why I came home so late and I said I was spending time with you and your family. By this point I think my dad had just accepted the fact that if I was out I was out with you and if I came home late it was because I was with you. Over the past like two months we hung out a lot, sometimes more than with my other friends. I remember going to your house for dinner and we made pancake rollups at like 9pm and we also tried to make chocolate truffles which were good. I was just with you all the time; dinner at Cyma, chilling in your bedroom, dinner with your family, There was also that Saturday where you spent the day with me and in the evening I made you an omelette the way I make it by sprinkling a bunch of spices on it and adding capers and tons of cheese because you can never have too much cheese.

Was it this month? Yes, yes it was. This month was also when you did the promposal. You had no idea what a promposal was and Ysabelle and Sheena had to ‘educate’ you and oh my god when I got to Biology. Flipping hell! Like your face popped up on the screen and Aya thought it was some guy who looked like you about give us a speech on Earth Day. It was you asking me to prom and you were in your bathroom because it had the best lighting. In that 25 second video you said I was amazing and no one had ever been kinder and how I’d given you a lifetime of happiness and you asked me to prom. And the whole flipping time you were standing right behind me with flowers that you had pick from the trees near the swimming pool. I mean you climbed that tree to get my flowers and the elementary school principal was like what are you doing? You told him you were doing it for a girl and he said something like aren’t we always doing something stupid for a girl? I cried, I was so surprised and so happy like you don’t understand. You handed me the flowers and gave me a hug before Mr. Lawrence made you leave haha. And before that I went to see you before class and Ysabelle was like I need to talk to Finn and hi guys, I’m being a third wheel. Ysabelle’s great, she was also getting between me and you haha. Later that day at lunch Aya threatened to stab you with a knife haha.

Senior Final Assembly came and I knew you were crying. I was crying after my dad’s speech but I knew you were crying because that would be the last day you would see me around before exams. After that I would only be around when I had to come for exams. Also for the past couple of months we would hang out with James and Leah at IT Park and chill out on the grass.

May

And so starts the month of IB final exams. During this month your parents allowed you to come and visit me for a couple of hours after school. You helped me destress for a while and just chill out before I started studying for my tests. You would also bring me chocolate bars and candy to eat and occasionally a bacon sandwich. That month was hell but you made it better. I remember on May 10, we went to Papa Kits and even though we didn’t get to do a lot of the stuff it was still fun watching you and Ari do the wake boarding. Later that night we went back to your house. I ended up sleeping over at your house, which was the second time. We stayed up until like 3am chilling in your living room. You told me about the scar on the side of your waist where your friends had decided to cut you with a pocket knife. I held you in my arms even though you weren’t crying. We sat in silence for a while just staring at each other and getting lost in thought. At one point I just broke down crying. You held me and repeatedly told me it was going to be alright. You didn’t let go and you let me cry for as long as I needed to. I couldn’t bring myself to say I was crying because I missed my mom so much. It was her birthday and she wasn’t here to celebrate it with. I told you it was because of all the stress of exams which was partially true. I’m sorry; I know I’m not always honest about my feelings. May was hectic month. Checking my exams one by one, getting my prom dress made, mask shopping with you, graduation.

The Friday night before prom you and I went to Tajimaya with Leah and Enrique because he promposed to her with an origami flower. We also had to go to Ayala to get Leah’s dress. I remember coming back that night and finding a letter on my door from you. I don’t quite remember what it said but I still have the letter in my scrapbook. I do remember that it said how you would always be there for me and how you would never forget me and how you would tell me you love me even though I didn’t like hearing it. You also serenaded me with a song. Prom was fun. Yasmine came over to be the photographer and she had to keep you and Enrique busy while Leah and I got ready. When we walked down the stairs you and Enrique were waiting there. I felt so nervous walking down and going down in heels is not easy. I remember I went with Enrique during my junior year but it certainly was different than when I went with you. We took plenty of photos and my dad made the comment about how Leah’s dress was the same colour as the car. I also remember you telling me, “Have I ever told you how gorgeous you look?” Yes, yes you have. Numerous times. Although we didn’t dance at prom I was glad to have someone to talk to. You got me an orchid corsage because you couldn’t find me a rose. Later that night we went to Cable Car instead of the usual party at the Caballero’s. Even though you weren’t sure if you were allowed out of your house you still came out anyway. Then the next day you got grounded again because your dad is an asshole.

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Graduation came around and for just a brief moment of time I actually liked your dad because even though you were grounded he let you come to my graduation even though you did have a curfew. I was so happy that you got to come! You came and chilled out with me before graduation and I got dressed a little too late and you were trying to calm me down as I was stressing out about being late because my dad said if we weren’t on time we weren’t graduating and I couldn’t do that to my own dad. But you came and I was so happy. I mean you were grounded and you still managed to come. You were my boyfriend and my photographer that night. You weren’t able to join us for dinner because you had to get home. I remember you told me that instead of getting a taxi you ran home. You, legit, ran home, so that you would make it on time and wouldn’t get into any more trouble and you did it all while wearing jeans. It was small but I still thought it was a pretty proud moment. The next day was Danny’s birthday and we went to Parkmall I think it was and played laser tag. That was awesome and so much fun! I kept stealing Ari’s hat and then he went and bought more snapbacks haha. He had a cake that looked like a Jedi’s head and it was great. The next day which was Sunday you and I woke up way too early to do a 6k colour run. This one was actually fun because they had actual powder in different colours. It was early but I’m glad you came and got coloured and messy with me. When we dropped you off later that day we also bought along the entire box of Lego that my brother used to play with to give to Danny as his birthday gift. He was so happy!

June

It was time for your exams. When your last exam was over you asked if I would like to come with you to Ayala and I said sure even though I had already been once with Bella. You came over and you had a backpack with you and I was like bruh, what? We went to Ayala and you told me you had to go and get something and asked me to wait in The Maze. I said sure even though I had no idea what you were doing. I was there for like an hour or so and I didn’t know what to do and I couldn’t contact you because you didn’t have a phone. You came running back and apologised profusely for abandoning me. Relax love; I was doing alright although I did feel a bit awkward. You were trying to surprise me with something but it wouldn’t fit in your bag. I was so shocked when I realised it was a penny board. Sometime during our relationship I’d mentioned something about a penny board and you had remembered. You had left me to go and buy me a flipping penny board! Oh my god! Seriously you were doing pretty well in the boyfriend department. You even bought me a watch as well. We also went back to look for a watch for you. But I was so happy.

The next day was when the shipping company was coming to help pack up everything. That was a crazy morning and afternoon trying to sort all my stuff out. We went to Toppokiman with Aya and Kiara and everyone got obsessed with the 2480 game. Later that day we went to Michelangelo’s with your mom and siblings. I miss that restaurant! The next day was moving up ceremonies for the 5th and 8th graders. After all that was done you, me, Danny and Ari went to Ayala and we chilled in Time Zone before going to watch San Diego. The day after you took me to Plantation Bay. It was pricey but we somehow made it. It was a fun day of swimming and kayaking and spending it just the two of us. We went back to your house and no one was home. We showered and got ready to go meet Bella at Pancake House. It was basically my last day there. The next day you came and chilled with me before I left. We both went and got our hair dyed and my maid had to explain that you wanted highlights. They almost dyed your entire head blonde! That would have been funny! We walked back up to your house to grab the graduation photos I’d asked you to scan. I said goodbye to your mom and siblings. It was awkward with your dad. When we got back to my house we did some last minute check overs to make sure we had everything. I didn’t want to leave and I know you didn’t either. It was hard and sad and when I hugged you for the last time I didn’t want to let go. And I know you didn’t either. This was also your birthday month. June 28! When I posted that collage you said you’d probably never had a better gift. I surprised you as well with like a box of cards from people and other stuff.

It’s long and like over 5,000 words but I know you’ve read longer. What I’ve written might not seem important but they are. They’re memories of what we had and what I hope we’ll have again. I know when you ask me what do I remember about you I didn’t really give a meaningful answer but here’s my honest answer. I remember a lot and maybe I’ve missed a few things but I remember a lot of our relationship. I remember all those inside jokes we had and coming up with new catchphrases. ‘Whatever gets you off.’ I remember spending nights at your house lying in your bed with Ed Sheeran playing in the background. I remember leaving your house at like 1am and chilling at the guardhouse waiting for a taxi. I remember that the guards eventually knew who I was my face. I remember all those walks around Silver Hills and going to Emerald Isle. The walks we would take from my house to yours and that hill that killed me. Whenever I listen to Ed Sheeran now it hurts because I remember you and all those nights we spent together. I remember you were trying to teach me how to play the guitar and gave up and just strummed instead. I remember that you have a kitten whose probably grown up by now named Kim Jong..Un? Il? Something like that. I miss your dog Ginger which was short for Gingersnap and how when she jumped up she was like my height or taller. Stupid short genetics. Those two would always fight together because your kitten enjoyed biting her tail. You also have another puppy/dog named Tommy Lee who chewed up your retainers. I remember when we first started talking we were talking about the song Tenerife Sea by Ed Sheeran and how my name was in the last lyric and its become one of my favourite Ed Sheeran songs. I remember when you went skateboarding down the hill in your village and you cut yourself pretty bad on your hip and your elbow. Your dad used that stuff that like burned like hell but the cut on your elbow ended up scarring into the shape of a heart which was cool.

I know that you cried the first couple of weeks after I left. I remembered trying to encourage you and tell you it’s going to be okay. We don’t talk as much as we used to and our conversations have certainly changed but I still want you. I still miss you. You told me that sometimes you’ll sit in front of my old house and read a book or listen to music, wishing I would walk out those doors. One day, I hope I get to come and visit you again. Whether it’s in Cebu or the UK or wherever. You always told me you’d never leave me and how I’d always be the most important person to you. I’m sorry that I can’t put you above everything else but don’t for one second thing that you aren’t important. I’m always encouraging you because I know you’re an amazing person with so much creativity and talent. If anything were to happen to you I would worry about you so much. So whatever happens I will be here. I may be on the other side of the world and like 50,000 miles away and like 13 hours behind but I’m here. I will always be here in every way that I can be. If I could I would fly to you and hold you in my arms and not let go until you were better. However short and brief I would hold you in my arms and not let go. Hope you feel better soon and life will look up again. You just have to do that whole ‘get through the darkness before the light’ bullshit. I miss you a lot and I know this was long but I know you’ll appreciate it all the same.

Elizabeth G. Walton

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